Saturday, October 20, 2007


In a recent report by blogger rod2.0, New York based non-profit group, Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) has joined the New York Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, with its "I am gay and this is where I'll Stay" campaign, by launching a new attempt to fight stigma and homophobia in New York called WORDS KILL reported by bloggernista. The goals of these campaigns are to fight stigma and homophobia directed at gay and bisexual men of African descent, which in turn (according to research) can help to reduce the spread of HIV.

We have certainly had increased incidence of HIV and murders or violent attacks against black gay men in New York and Atlanta (see my video interview below with entertainer Kevin Aviance who was also attacked in NYC).
I have personally worked very closely on campaigns such as these as recent as 2006 with Oakland's I AM Worth It campaign developed in collaboration with the Alameda County Office of AIDS Administration, AIDS Project of the East Bay, and the internationally recognized Oakland based African American marketing firm Carol H. Williams and Associates.

The sad truth about the I AM Worth It ad campaign here in Oakland is that they have not given the campaign enough marketing time to really have an impact. The ad campaign was launched in July of 2006 and today (October 07) you don't see anything about it. It is critical that funders fund the advertising of these campaigns for at least two years in order to guage their efficacy.

Also, locally funded HIV prevention services, mental health services and violence prevention services that receive funding from the county should also be mandated to distribute these materials and the distribution should be closely monitored.
Oakland's new mayor, former congressman Ron Dellums, has launched his own HIV/AIDS prevention initiative called
"Get Screened Oakland." Although it is not gay/bi focused, it is a long needed acknowledgement by the office of the Mayor, that the issue of HIV has to be attacked on all sides and at every level of government.
More about HIV/AIDS services, homophobia and stigma coming soon.

Note: The interview below features entertainer Kevin Aviance and was conducted outside of the FOX Theater in Atlanta Georgia during the 2006 Clik Magazine 25 Elite Awards.

No comments: